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Can we create a luxury urban lifestyle building within a French renaissance-style historic fabric?

Location:        Belgravia
Status:            Construction

Client:             CIT
Architect:    PDP London

Structural Design Brief

Sensitive restoration of listed fabric, combining new and retained structures into a multi-use building.

Creation of new two-storey basement adjacent to existing structure listed structures without a joint between them.

Site constrained by retained building, urban context and Crossrail 2 safeguarding and deep western sewer below.


This Grade II listed building dates back to 1863 and has an illustrious history that has fallen away in recent years. Located by Victoria Station, overlooking Grosvenor Gardens, it is to undergo extensive rejuvenation and extension. This includes the refurbishment of the historic east, south and west elevations and first bay of the property, whilst demolishing  the infill structures of the central portion of the property, to be replaced with a new build six storey superstructure plus ground floor and two basement levels.


The ground floor and basement of the retained building will be for retail and amenity spaces, with a wellness centre introduced in the southern wing basement. A combination of underpinning and incisive demolition will be utilised to create these spaces, whilst ensuring the stability of the retained building above. The top two levels of the retained building will substantially be replaced with new structure to modify the existing roof profile to meet the new build to the rear.

The basement of the new building will be used for plant and parking, formed with a silent piling rig to behind an acoustic screen to respect the neighbouring functions. The B1 and Ground Floor will be a mixture of entrance space, back of house and plant spaces and amenity spaces. The upper floors will be serviced apartments. This transition in use has led to the introduction of transfer slabs at Ground Floor, Level 1 and Level 5.


Due to the new basement, proximity to the listed building and adjacent properties, the Crossrail 2 safeguarding zone and the Deep Western Sewer running beneath the site, phased ground movement assessments were required for the development. The design minimises impact on the surrounding assets and through an assessment linked to the construction sequence it was proved that a movement joint between existing and proposed structures can be closed following the completion of the new basement box. This means the structure will act monolithically and so more efficiently resisting lateral loads and avoiding joints in the high-quality internal spaces.

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